A number of research firms have changed their ratings and price targets for Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX):

  • 6/8/2018 – Quest Diagnostics was upgraded by analysts at William Blair from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating.
  • 5/29/2018 – Quest Diagnostics was upgraded by analysts at Morgan Stanley from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating. They now have a $120.00 price target on the stock.
  • 5/28/2018 – Quest Diagnostics had its “hold” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Barclays PLC. They now have a $120.00 price target on the stock.
  • 5/25/2018 – Quest Diagnostics had its price target raised by analysts at Credit Suisse Group from $118.00 to $121.00. They now have an “outperform” rating on the stock.
  • 5/25/2018 – Quest Diagnostics was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Over the past six months, Quest Diagnostics has been underperforming its industry. The company saw a sluggish performance in the last-reported quarter due to several factors including unfavorable weather impact on volume, unit price headwind and a critical change in revenue recognition accounting. Tough competitive landscape and reimbursement issues are other woes. However, we are optimistic about the company’s consistent efforts to refocus on core diagnostic information services business and disciplined capital deployment. Quest Diagnostic’s latest acquisitions and collaborations with hospitals and integrated delivery networks (the latest buyout being MedXM) continue to act as major growth drivers. We are also upbeat about the company entering into strategic partnership agreement with UnitedHealthcare to join the latter's  network for all  plan participants from Jan 1, 2019 onwards.”
  • 5/25/2018 – Quest Diagnostics had its “buy” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Mizuho.
  • 5/22/2018 – Quest Diagnostics was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating. They now have a $115.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Quest Diagnostics delivered a dull first-quarter performance this time.  Earnings remained in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate while revenues fell short of the mark. The sluggish performance was due to several factors including unfavorable weather impact on volume, unit price headwind and a critical change in revenue recognition accounting. Tough competitive landscape and reimbursement issues are other woes. Over the past six months, Quest Diagnostics was underperforming its industry. However, we are optimistic about the company’s consistent efforts to refocus on core diagnostic information services business and disciplined capital deployment. The company’s latest acquisitions and collaborations with hospitals and integrated delivery networks (the latest buyout being MedXM) continue to act as major growth drivers.”
  • 5/1/2018 – Quest Diagnostics was upgraded by analysts at Robert W. Baird from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating. They now have a $115.00 price target on the stock.
  • 4/25/2018 – Quest Diagnostics was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Quest Diagnostics delivered a dull first-quarter performance this time.  Earnings remained in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate while revenues fell short of the mark. The sluggish performance was due to several factors including unfavorable weather impact on volume, unit price headwind and a critical change in revenue recognition accounting. Tough competitive landscape and reimbursement issues are other woes. Over the past six months, Quest Diagnostics was underperforming its industry. However, we are optimistic about the company’s consistent efforts to refocus on core diagnostic information services business and disciplined capital deployment. The company’s latest acquisitions and collaborations with hospitals and integrated delivery networks (the latest buyout being MedXM) continue to act as major growth drivers.”
  • 4/18/2018 – Quest Diagnostics was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating. They now have a $113.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Ahead of its first quarter 2018 earnings, we are looking forwrd to Quest Diagnostics' efforts to  refocus on its core diagnostic information services business and disciplined capital deployment. The company is witnessing significant growth through infectious disease testing, prescription drug monitoring and wellness. Also several new collaborations with hospitals and integrated delivery networks continue to act as major growth drivers. We are looking forward to the recent buyout of Mobile Medical Examination Service MedXM, a national provider of home-based health risk assessments and related services. This apart, the 2018 guidance looks promising. Over the past year, Quest Diagnostics was trading above the industry. On the flip side, unit price headwind continues to hamper growth. Tough competitive landscape and reimbursement issues are the other woes.”

DGX traded up $0.16 during trading on Wednesday, hitting $111.17. The company had a trading volume of 8,547 shares, compared to its average volume of 974,078. The stock has a market capitalization of $15.16 billion, a PE ratio of 20.59, a P/E/G ratio of 2.20 and a beta of 0.70. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73, a current ratio of 1.23 and a quick ratio of 1.14. Quest Diagnostics Inc has a 1-year low of $90.10 and a 1-year high of $112.96.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 19th. The medical research company reported $1.52 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $1.52. The firm had revenue of $1.88 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.89 billion. Quest Diagnostics had a net margin of 10.19% and a return on equity of 15.44%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 3.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.33 earnings per share. equities research analysts forecast that Quest Diagnostics Inc will post 6.61 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 23rd. Shareholders of record on Monday, July 9th will be issued a dividend of $0.50 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, July 6th. This represents a $2.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.80%. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 37.04%.

In other Quest Diagnostics news, Chairman Stephen H. Rusckowski sold 168,490 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, May 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $107.00, for a total transaction of $18,028,430.00. Following the sale, the chairman now directly owns 359,559 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $38,472,813. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Mark Guinan sold 61,533 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, May 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $105.71, for a total transaction of $6,504,653.43. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 119,733 shares in the company, valued at $12,656,975.43. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 231,667 shares of company stock worth $24,706,706 over the last three months. 1.79% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in DGX. US Bancorp DE lifted its holdings in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 3.0% during the 4th quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 18,451 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $1,817,000 after buying an additional 531 shares during the period. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado lifted its holdings in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 3.6% during the 4th quarter. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado now owns 25,028 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $2,465,000 after buying an additional 872 shares during the period. ING Groep NV lifted its holdings in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 170.1% during the 4th quarter. ING Groep NV now owns 12,960 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $1,276,000 after buying an additional 8,162 shares during the period. Swiss National Bank lifted its holdings in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 0.5% during the 4th quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 575,030 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $56,635,000 after buying an additional 2,900 shares during the period. Finally, Sigma Planning Corp bought a new position in shares of Quest Diagnostics during the 4th quarter valued at $230,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 88.31% of the company’s stock.

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated provides diagnostic testing information and services in the United States and internationally. The company's Diagnostic Information Services business segment develops and delivers diagnostic testing information and services, such as routine testing, non-routine and advanced clinical testing, gene-based and esoteric testing, anatomic pathology, and other diagnostic information services.

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